October 5, 2018
I think parenting is asking over and over “why didn’t my kid think we would find out about this,” and “why do we have to know about this,” and “how can we pretend to not know about this,” and “how can we handle this since we can’t un-know this.” I’m tired of handling crises and responding to emergencies and putting out fires and adjusting attitudes. The numbers are against us. 2 parents and 3 daughters. We’ve been outnumbered for ten years, and some might argue, outsmarted for twenty. 9,763 crying fits, 1 million hurt feelings, thousands of mismatched socks, and despite buying pony tail holders by the hundreds, we still can’t find any when we need one. I’d like to be done counting boyfriends for Grace and Lauren, but we haven’t started counting for Oh Emily.
I don’t think our girls have any idea how much they are loved by Daddy and me. How could they? Paul and I are flawed parents trying to show love to flawed daughters. There is failure written all over the attempt, doomed from the giving and receiving.
I’m so blessed to have friends who ask how the girls are doing. The friends from the inner circle are really good about that, and I’m always touched when friends I’m not as close to take a chance by reaching out. I’ve noticed you, and I thank you. Lately it seems that one Mauk-girl is finally on auto-pilot and cruising along pretty well. But there is drama and sadness for the 2 others right now. They will be ok, but it’s hard knowing they aren’t in the best possible places right now. Sometimes it feels like maybe the best we can hope for is 1 out of 3 at any given moment. But that’s not living a redeemed life. That’s not the feast God has called my family to enjoy. We’ve never been promised a life without turmoil. Certainly believers are guaranteed struggle and pain. But Psalms promises me that even if I am in the valley of the shadow of death, My God is with me. My girls can’t see through the darkness of that shadow at the moment. And God promises that as I am surrounded by my enemies, He has prepared a table for me. Lord lead me to that table! Take my daughters’ hands and show them their place of honor at that feast! I know You are the Host telling them “I’ve set a place for you right next to Me.” Moses had a place at that feast, and for the Israelites, the banquet table was a desert and the meal was the manna, and they ate their feast daily in the shadow of God’s pillar of cloud. But to be in the desert for 40 years! How long, Lord? How long?! One semester at school feels like an eternity when the desert and the shadow is a crush of students calling out “F*@$ You B!+<H!” It’s hard to believe that is being screamed across the banquet table, but it is.
One of my girls put a Bible verse reference on her social media account. The verse calms her anxious heart and reminds her where her strength comes from. Her social media is for friends to see, but the verse was her way of acknowledging her God. I get it that not everyone believes, and believers will be mocked for our faith. But she wasn’t shoving a sermon down anyone’s throat. All it said was 1Peter 5:7. She was told she is attention seeking for that. No. She’s trying to calm her anxious heart.
I’ve heard my girls call Jesus’s name in exasperation and mumble “uh mah gah” under their breath. I usually look at them and ask “are you praying?” When we call out to Him, does He know the difference between desperation and exasperation? I’m not advocating taking His name in vain. But the way my girls call out to Him on social media or in their youthful vernacular still counts. God hears the beautifully crafted flourishing prayers of the seasoned pastor just as He hears the quiet taps on my daughter’s device as she posts 1Peter 5:7. It counts. God has invited them to the feast and in their own tender, sweet ways, that is their way of saying “Jesus I come to Thee.” And I know He hears them.
““casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
1 Peter 5:7 ESV